weekend event planner
Top things to do in Houston this weekend: Bayou City Art Fest, Southern Smoke, Sting, and more
Understandably, much of Houston will be packing Minute Maid Park this Sunday — or watching on TV — as our Houston Astros take on the Texas Rangers for Game 1 of the big ALCS showdown.
But before that, plenty of non-Stros fun awaits. The Bayou City Arts Festival returns with a downtown showcase of more than 200 artists in Sam Houston Park. Speaking of festivals, Chris Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Festival is back with a showcase of the best restaurants and chefs in Houston and beyond.
And music fans won’t want to miss the outlaw Chris Stapleton and ageless heartthrob Sting, both who’ll be in town.
Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend. (And go Stros!)
Thursday, October 12
October 12 is National Gumbo Day, and Razzoo's Cajun Cafe (located in Pasadena, Spring, and Stafford) is “shell-a-brating” with $5 cups o’ gumbo. Valid only on Thursday, enjoy your choice of chicken & sausage or seafood gumbo for just $5. Limited to dine-in and to-go only. Plus, October is National Seafood Month, and Razzoo’s has a boatload of tasty catches all month long. Visit your nearest Razzoo’s to enjoy shrimp in a variety of ways, an assortment of fish options, crab cakes, oysters and more. 11 am.
Norigami, the first brick & mortar location of the sushi hand roll monthly pop-up from the owners of Hidden Omakase, invites Houstonians to come out for its grand opening celebration. During the four-day extravaganza, diners will receive 25% off food and exciting giveaways throughout the weekend. The grand finale will be Sunday at 2:30 pm, featuring complimentary sake, champagne, and hors d'oeuvre, a lion dance performance and the first 25 guests will receive complimentary Uni. 5 pm (3 pm Saturday).
Before John Waters shows up in Houston on Friday, Friends of River Oaks Theatre will present a depraved triple-feature of iconic Waters films representing three decades of his career: Serial Mom, Polyester and Pink Flamingos. Drag artist Sauvignon Blanca will be hosting, performing, and leading interactive activities between films.Polyester will be accompanied by the wonders of Odorama: scratch-and-sniff cards that allow the audience to smell what they are viewing on-screen. Cinephile membership gets you free entry. 7 pm.
Friday, October 13
Comedian/Scotsman/former The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, will be in town this weekend to do a bunch of shows at Improv Houston. Before that, he will share his story of addiction and recovery at The Council on Recovery's premiere fundraising event. Funds raised will support individuals and families impacted by addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Noon.
Lauren Moya Ford: Green Thumb is the artist’s first exhibition dedicated to her printmaking practice, featuring a vibrant series of recent monotypes created at Flatbed Press in Austin. Ford began printmaking in the fall of 2021 as a way to extend and expand her drawing process. The Austin-based Ford has exhibited and performed her work at The Menil Collection’s Byzantine Chapel, Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum, the University of Texas at Austin’s Visual Arts Center. Through Monday, January 15. 5 pm.
There are only a handful of country artists who are still carrying the outlaw-country torch such hard-living, free-thinking icons as Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson burned proudly back in the day – and multiple Grammy winner Chris Stapleton is part of that handful. Chris Stapleton comes to The Woodlands as part of his All-American Road Show tour. Stapleton has released four albums in his career, including 2020's Starting Over. He'll by joined by Charley Crockett and Nikki Lane. 7 pm.
Expect to see Aaron Franklin and other celeb chefs at Southern Smoke. Photo by Catchlight Photography
The annual, two-day Southern Smoke Festival features some of the food & beverage industry’s most talented chefs and personalities. Guests will get to eat their share of big and bold bites; have their choice of wine, beer, and spirits; and enjoy live music to enhance the chow-down experience. Proceeds will benefit Southern Smoke Foundation, which has distributed more than $10.5 million to industry workers nationwide. 7 pm (3 pm Saturday).
Saturday, October 14
Calling all Houston swimmers: A worthy cause and event requires your breaststroke, backstroke, and more. Head to Lake Longhorn (2391 Gun Range Rd.) for the Swim Across America - Houston Open Water Swim. For the past five years, the organization has hosted more than 250 swimmers and volunteers, spectators and supporters, as and even Olympians at its charity swim. The organization and event has raised more than $340,000 for MD Anderson Cancer Center. All levels — experienced open water swimmers and newbies — are invited to participate. The event includes registration, a welcome program, photo ops, swim, and a post-event ceremony. Find registration, donation, and more information here. Registration opens 7:30 am; closes 8:15 am.
Autism Speaks invites H-Town residents to join the 2023 Houston Walk. There will be plenty of fun activities throughout the event, including a selfie station, Lego toys, and temporary tattoos. In addition to fundraising to support the vital mission of Autism Speaks, the Walk is a time to celebrate loved ones with autism, connect with others, share stories, and meet local service providers and other event sponsors. 9 am.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is hosting its biggest family event of the year. Kids are invited to dress up for ArBOOretum, which features live animals, pumpkin decorating, and Houston’s only Trick-or-Treat Nature trail. The first 1,000 families will receive free eclipse viewing glasses. Don those costumes, grab the wagons, and hit the trail. Parking is off-site at the Amegy Tower parking garage.10 am-4 p; last entry at 3 pm. $20 online presale; $25 at the door for ages 3 and up; free for children 3 and under
Join Levy Park with scientists and educators from the Lunar and Planetary Institute for a fun and educational viewing party. The solar eclipse will create a “ring” of sun visible behind the moon, causing the sky to grow dim in a beautiful solar event. The viewing party will feature music by DJ DelSur and lunar-themed crafts for kids of all ages. Please note, proper eye protection must be worn while watching an annular eclipse. Levy Park will provide free viewfinders, so guests can safely enjoy themselves. 11 am.
Bayou City Art Festival, produced by Art Colony Association (ACA), will transform Downtown Houston into a lively outdoor gallery and interactive art event with more art, entertainment, and an intimate culinary art and tasting experience with some of Houston’s top chefs. Guests are invited to experience art and nonstop live entertainment at the Stella Artois Main Stage and at the KPRC 2 Hitch Stage. For art-loving foodies, the two-day fest will feature on-site food trucks catering to everyone’s taste buds. Noon.
Lake Houston’s beloved Fall Concert Series is back. Join Kings Harbor on The Green for the series’ second live music performance, featuring Joe Finney Duo. For a cool autumn night and views of Lake Houston, the series will continue on Saturday, November 11 with live music by Heirloom. Kingwood residents and visitors will experience the perfect blend of music and community with a diverse range of musical talents and genres. From soulful melodies to energetic rhythms, each performance promises a night to remember under the stars. 6 pm.
Sunday, October 15
Sting will play The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Sunday. Photo by Martin Kierszenbaum
In partnership with Rice Village Farmers Market, Navy Blue is delighting fans with a special pop-up at this week’s market. One of Houston’s most highly-rated seafood concepts by Aaron Bludorn, Navy Blue pays homage to gems of the Texas Gulf Coast. The restaurant will be sharing samples of a few of its classics with a fun new twist. Items include laminated brioche (herb butter, caramelized red onion and smoked salmon), cinnamon roll (brown sugar caramel and vanilla glaze), and house biscuit sandwich (pork belly, pimento and egg). 9 am.
Cultural Center "Our Texas" will present a concert dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the legendary composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. The concert program will be a journey through Rachmaninoff's timeless compositions, masterfully interpreted by internationally acclaimed cellist Hasmik Vardanyan. The program includes Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19, Romances from Op. 4 and Op. 21 (arr. for cello and piano), and Elegie Op. 3, No.1 (arr. for cello and piano). 7 pm.
Punk/new-wave icon-turned-adult-contemporary mainstay Sting is touring around the place with his My Songs world tour. This exuberant and dynamic show features his most beloved songs, written throughout his illustrious career both with The Police and as a solo artist. Fans can expect hits like "Fields of Gold," "Shape of my Heart," "Roxanne," "Englishman In New York," "Every Breath You Take," "Roxanne," "Message In A Bottle," "Demolition Man," and more. 8 pm.